A lot of business owners are aware that they should really have a blog, but don’t necessarily act on it. It’s a time commitment to research, write, and edit. It’s difficult to come up with relevant content ideas, and easy to let slide in favor of more immediate work. However, more and more businesses are ramping up content production and investing in business blogs as a core marketing strategy.
In short, more businesses and potentially your competitors are investing in blogging and finding success. In this guide, we explore why business blogging is one of the best promotion methods your company has access to.
Benefits of blogging for your business
So, why should you start blogging for your business? It’s a big initial time investment with a less obvious return and path to increased sales right? However, there are a number of reasons why your business can benefit from putting out content online. Here’s why blogging is an incredibly useful tool for your business.
First and foremost, it’s a way to gain potential customers simply by exposing more people to your brand. It can effectively be long-lasting organic promotion for your business that relates to questions and search terms that your potential customers care about. The more you write and optimize your posts, the more likely you are to land on the front page, and ideally at the top, of search engines. The more often you appear in the top 10, the more eyeballs on your content, and the more likely you’ll turn the min to customers.
Build trust and authority
Not everyone is ready to commit to a purchase. Some users are simply doing research, comparing options, or looking for answers to help them solve specific problems. Having a blog allows you to provide those answers and streamline your potential customer’s research process.
If you provide the best answer and assistance around their search, the more likely you are to start building trust with a user. Show up in their search results more often, and you’ll begin to establish authority in their mind as a viable and consistent source of information. Think of it as the next stage of building awareness—where you begin to establish a relationship while passively interacting with users.
An ad campaign, event, direct mailer, and many other marketing channels are typically one-off pursuits. Sure, you can reuse ad copy and imagery, maybe even film your events, or send your mailer as an email—but blog content goes beyond that. Once published, it becomes a long-term resource to generate exposure and leads with very little maintenance. Simply refresh the content every three, six, maybe even 12-months depending on the performance.
Additionally, you can expand the value of the content you create by adapting it or integrating it with other formats. Embed videos from your business YouTube channel. Add graphics, GIFs, infographics, download assets, and anything else that can elevate the user experience. Then, look for opportunities to turn the articles you create into videos, social posts, email newsletter content, and even paid ad destinations.
Networking and partnerships
Business blogging can provide networking opportunities and connect you to other bloggers as well as potential business partners. Maybe you come across content creators in a similar or complementary space that can introduce you to a new audience. Or you simply start gaining backlinks from other outlets that think your content is authoritative and interesting. In either case, having the blog opens up opportunities to collaborate and gain exposure that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
These are just some of the benefits of running a successful business blog. Your industry, specific goals, and approach will dictate the results.
How to blog for your business
Now, before you dive into creating content for your business, you’ll want to be sure that you have the basis to establish a blog on your business website. Decide if you’ll need a content management system (CMS), how it will be hosted, as well as whether or not this should be attached to your existing company site.
Long-term, we recommend building your content into your site to make the jump to landing pages more natural, but there’s no harm in starting on a 3rd party site if you don’t have things set up.
Now for the big question—how can you make a successful business blog? Here are some best practices to ensure you start your blogging efforts off on the right foot.
1. Have a distinct tone and voice
There are so many ways you can make your content stand out as a blogger. How-to guides, industry insights, tips, and tricks, and research studies just scratch the surface of you can organize your content. The key to creating effective and authoritative content no matter what style you land on is to establish a consistent voice and tone for your writing.
Are you purely educational? Maybe a bit more relaxed with a stream of consciousness writing style that showcases your personality? Whatever you lean into, be sure that it reflects the voice of your brand and is consistent throughout every piece of content.
Speaking of your brand, be sure to showcase it in the visuals that you use. Feature your brand colors, logos, and even products in the graphics and videos you use. This can help your content stand out, feel more exclusive, and potentially rank in image search.
2. Answer people’s queries
The most effective way to make your corporate blog gain a lot of traffic is to answer questions that people are actually asking. Answering queries that your potential customers might have is one of the best ways to drive traffic that could result in potential buyers or clients.
Keyword research is key here. The simplest way to find these opportunities is to type in the start of a query and check out Google autocompletes, and the “people also asked” terms suggested by Google. Google’s “Keyword Planner” also allows you to review search volume and see what people are actually looking for. You can also tap into Google’s “related searches” feature at the bottom of the page to find associated topics or even header copy for your blog.
If you don’t want to dive right into keyword research, you can always start internally. Focus on what your current customers ask when being onboarded, speaking with customer service, and even in reviews. This can be an easy way to reuse insights you’ve already gained to ramp up topic ideas that will likely connect with new and current customers.
3. Be consistent
Ask anyone who writes a blog and they will tell you that you have to be consistent with how often you release content. It’s all too easy for your material to become irrelevant and for your article production to lose steam. And if you have subscribers or consistent viewers they may expect regular content.
Consistency means regular posting to keep your blog fresh and ensure your business appears to be active and has its finger on the topics you’re covering. On top of this, you will want to invest some time in updating old posts. Customers finding an article that has information that really isn’t relevant anymore sends the wrong signal and may negatively impact your perceived authority.
The key to consistency is establishing a process. Outline how often you will post, who will be involved, and what general topics you’ll cover. Give yourself a runway to ensure you’re not bumping up against publishing deadlines and try to have a few pieces of content ready to go before you hit publish for the first time.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to redefine your research, writing, editing, and publishing process. If the timing, quality, or any other piece isn’t working, review it and rework it. You want this to become a process that is easy to be consistent with, so the more hurdles you can remove the better.
4. Make your content stand out
More people are putting content out there than ever before. It is estimated that there are 2.75 million new blog posts every single day. Of course, only a fraction of these will be direct competition, but it shows the size and scale of the world of blogging. If your content just recycles information that is already out there, you’re less likely to beat out competitors, increase your traffic, and people that do click in are more likely to bounce.
You want your blog to stand out and be the best option for users to view. That often means going one step above what the competition is doing. Answer more questions, give more examples, provide a more thorough or easy-to-follow explanation, include more statistical data, provide additional resources to explore, etc.
There’s no one size fits all approach, so be sure to do your research to see who currently ranks and what they’re doing to take that top spot. Just remember that no matter what you do to elevate your content, keep the quality front and center. You can have a distinct or opposing take, maybe have more data to back up your point of view— but if your article comes off as clickbait or uninformative none of that will matter.
5. Use tools that make life easier
With so many businesses starting and running blogs plenty of effective tools have emerged that can make your life easier. Here are a few options to consider to help streamline your blog creation process.
Not a graphic designer? Create professional graphics with Canva without needing to learn complex tools like Adobe Suite. If you’re struggling to lay out your content schedule, check out a content planning and team management tool like Trello or even use a trusty Google Calendar.
Planning to include videos and need an easy way to edit videos or take screen captures? Movavi is an intuitive solution for both Mac and Windows.
Bloggers can make use of tools like these to streamline the process and improve their posts. If you are using WordPress for your business blog there are thousands of potential plugins to revolutionize the way you create content. Some of these tools even have direct plugin integrations worth looking into.
6. Play the long game
The benefit of effective blogging is a long-term process. Your website is not likely to have much authority at the start, which means it will be harder for you to rank highly on Google.
Over time, you can increase this authority, largely due to other brands and blogs linking to your content and providing a track record of strong content. It can take three, six, even 12 months to start to see any significant traffic from search engines. To help expedite this process, focus your efforts on search terms and opportunities with very little competition. This means not pursuing shorter, more generalized search terms like “accounting tool” and instead go after long-tail searches such as “best accounting tool for construction companies.”
These terms have lower search volume but are much easier to take a top spot for with the right content. Doing this helps you specialize around a given subject and develop a cluster of content around a given topic. The more long-tail searches you rank for, the more likely that one of those pages will start ranking for those shorter, more competitive terms.
Keep in mind that just like building a presence with your blog takes time, customer conversion can take just as much time. A good blog can be a way to hook a customer in or get them to subscribe to your mailing list. However, it may be on the third or fourth great post that they read when they finally consider becoming a paying customer.
Once they’re on your site, try to establish what their next ideal action should be. Work on optimizing calls to action and site navigation to ensure that people stay on the site. Make things contextual, easy to understand, and enticing enough to encourage another click to check out more content, a features page, or anything else you deem relevant.
Those who are expecting their blog to be a huge asset within a week might be sorely disappointed. Blogging for business is about playing the long game, and those who know that when they start their blog have a strategic advantage.
Start small and grow
A business blog can be an incredible tool for promotion, building trust, and driving sales, whether your business is in the startup phase or you have been around for decades. Setting up a successful blog is not easy, especially in a world where more content is being created than ever before. Start small, establish a process, focus on what your customers care about, and look for opportunities to grow.